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American Standard Version (ASV)
Publisher: Wordsearch
Category: Bibles

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  • Formal Equivalence (word for word)
  • Named as the Master's Seminary's 850 Best Books for Biblical Expositors

Product Details

The American Standard Version of the Holy Bible was first published in 1901. It has earned the reputation of being the "Rock of Biblical Honesty".

The American Standard Version is rooted in the work that was done with the Revised Version. In 1870, an invitation was extended to American religious leaders for scholars to work with a British team on the Revised Version project. A year later, 30 scholars were chosen by Philip Schaff. These scholars began their work in 1872.

Any suggestion the American team had would be accepted by the British team only if two thirds of the British team agreed. This principle was backed up by an agreement that if their suggestions were put into the appendix of the Revised Version, the American team would not publish their version for 14 years. The appendix had about 300 suggestions in it.

In 1881, the Revised Version New Testament was released. Four years later, the Old Testament appeared. Around this time, the British team of translators disbanded. Also around this time, unauthorized copied editions of the Revised Version appeared with the suggestions of the American team in the main text. In 1898, publishers for Oxford and Cambridge Universities published their own editions of the Revised Version with the American suggestions included.

In 1901, the 14 year agreement between the American and British teams expired, and the American Standard Version Bible was published by Thomas Nelson & Sons that same year. It was copyrighted in North America to ensure the purity of the American Standard Version text, although the copyright has since expired. The copyright was a reaction to tampering with the text of the Revised Version by some U.S. publishers, as noted above, allegedly in the interest of the American reading public, which was legally possible as there was never a U.S. copyright filed for the Revised Version. The American Standard Version copyright never became an issue.

There were two rationales for the American Standard Version. One reason was to prevent any justification for the unauthorized copied editions of the Revised Version that had been circulating. Another reason was to use more of the suggestions the American team had preferred. Interestingly, while many of the suggestions of the American scholars were based on the differences between American and British usage, many others were based on differences in scholarship and what the American revisers felt the best translation to be. Consequently, there were several changes to the King James Version text in the American Standard Version that were not present in the Revised Version. The name of the Almighty (the Tetragrammaton) was rendered Jehovah instead of LORD. Holy Ghost was dropped in favor of Holy Spirit. Page headings were also added and footnotes were improved.

The American Standard Version was the basis of two revisions. They were the Revised Standard Version (1952) and the New American Standard Bible(1971). The text, along with original manuscripts, is also the primary basis for the World English Bible.